Sentient:
By Delphinius "J.C." Tucker

Every morning it was the same old story. I woke at five-thirty and bathed myself. By seven I was on the bus going to school for my daily learnings. I felt as if my life was being dictated by societal and other such forces. It was as if I had no real control over my own life. I felt controlled. I never really expected what was to happen. I felt, I bled, and I learned. I learned with speed and grace unlike any other. There were days when I wondered why that was.

Regardless, I continued on in my daily endeavors, yet I always wanted something more, somewhere I could fit in, a niche so to speak. I continued writing, and learning, and most of all I continued looking. I was looking for a reason to exist, a reason why. I needed more then I had. I needed a reason to live. I needed to know that I was more than just a human encyclopedia or calculator. I wanted to love; I wanted to be able to live. I wanted to see there were more than just learning and acidic words thrown by ignorant masses. The hated were the intellectual and the loved were the unique. Somehow, I managed to be both. I continued fighting the omnipresent pressure to be something I wasn't.

I would not let myself be herded like a sheep. What I didn't yet know was that I was being controlled by even stronger forces. I felt like I was a coded program, not a human. I didn't feel that I could choose my path. I didn't feel that I could choose what to learn. I just did exactly what I was designed to. It was summer when I learned the shocking truth. I was 16 and a half at the time. I was taking a shower, just like usual, and I fell down and my head smashed against the wall. My hand immediately flew to my head to inspect the damage. But I didn't feel blood on this wound.

I raised my hand slowly, a painful shiver running down my spine. I felt not bone, brain matter, or any other organic fluids. I felt smooth metal, and wires. I checked the mirror and I saw chrome and microchips. On one of these chips I found a designation:

Sentient 162-73a

It was in that moment that I realized I had no purpose. I was a sheep to the programmed herder in my circuits. I was everything I brought myself to despise. I was only a machine, a sentient, who would never know love or feeling. I was only a program living through its code. I was simply an existent being. I wish I could love. I wish I could live. But the cold reality is that I am machine. I am Sentient 162-73a.